Watch A Trippy Tribute To The Ninja Turtles
While we wait for the Michael Bay produced Ninja Turtle reboot’s production to re-start, animator Malcolm Sutherland made a one-minute long tribute to the beloved martial arts-trained retile sewer dwellers. Although the animation is somewhat crude, it’s overall tone is impressively stylized.
Starting with introductions to the Turtles themselves (with shortened American names), each Turtle displays their personality, ninja technique and style. Sutherland updates the Turtles and gives characters like Mikey a stoner facade complete with smoking a joint and “munching” on pizza. Sutherland also took away the Turtles trademark colored masks. In doing this, the Turtles must rely on their personality for an audience to tell them apart rather than a clever color scheme. Capping off the short film is Sutherland’s interpretation of the Turtle’s master Splinter. He’s not so much of a ninja master but rather a Buddhist master at peace.
Sutherland is a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and explains how the series inspired him to become an animator and artist,
In particular, when I read #37 and #42 by Rick McCollum and Bill Anderson it totally changed my life. No kidding! Those books are so beautiful, and are so intense and full of magic that they left a deep mark on me.
Malcolm Sutherland is a Canadian award-winning animator who is best known for the short film Umbra, a surreal film about an adventure of an unknown world. He has also contributed an animated sequence to the crowd sourced “uncut” edition of the original Star Wars.
This short film feels like a proof of concept for a new series on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. Fans of the series wouldn’t mind seeing a half-hour version on the Turtles with this type of animation.